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Veolia, New York City Double Household Hazardous Waste Effort

Article-Veolia, New York City Double Household Hazardous Waste Effort

Veolia and New York City are doubling their partnership to increase household hazardous waste collection and recycling in the city.

The NYC SAFE (Solvents, Automotive, Flammables and Electronics) Disposal events, managed by the New York City Department of Sanitation, will double in size to 10 events this year. Chicago-based Veolia Environmental Services North America Corp. (VESNA) is providing waste services for the fourth year to offer its waste services to the department for the event, according to a news release.

Harmful household waste products collected in each of the New York City boroughs will be recycled or sent to one of Veolia’s hazardous waste treatment facilities.

“NYC residents should bring items such as pesticides, strong cleaners, mercury thermostats, paint, motor oil, electronics and medications to this year’s SAFE Disposal events,” said Kathryn Garcia, New York City sanitation commissioner. “This year, with more events in more neighborhoods, we’re hoping to expand the opportunity for New Yorkers to safely and conveniently dispose of harmful materials.”

As much as possible, liquid wastes such as paint will be blended for fuel and energy recovery. Small amounts that can’t be recovered will be incinerated.

Since 2012 more than 1.28 million pounds of materials have been collected.

New York City has been aggressive in ramping up its recycling and diversion efforts, and that includes residential household hazardous waste.

In November 2013 the city launched a new electronics recycling program aimed at apartment buildings. The program, E-cycleNYC, provides buildings with at least 10 units on-site collection of e-waste, including TVs, monitors, computers, laptops, small servers, printers/scanners, tablets/e-readers, mobile phones, MP3 players, VCRs/DVRs/DVD players, video game consoles, cable/satellite box, fax machines, keyboards, mice and hard drives. The program is a public-private partnership between the New York City Department of Sanitation and Fresno, Calif.-based Electronic Recyclers International Inc.

In October 2012 New York City launched a program aimed at the restaurant industry to improve compliance with grease waste hauling and disposal regulations. The strategy, an initiative of the city’s Business Integrity Commission (BIC) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), consists of two components: a joint task force composed of BIC enforcement agents and DEP inspectors, and a new DEP online video to educate the food service industry on how to keep grease, fats, and oils from entering the city’s sewer system.

Throughout the United States, household hazardous waste programs can vary as much as the materials they take in. They range from one-day drop-off events to permanent facilities that operate six days a week.

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